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To what extent were governments responsible for popular protest in the period 1815-28?

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Introduction

To what extent were governments responsible for popular protest in the period 1815-28? In 1815 the corn laws were passed which meant any import of corn had to pay duties until the cost of British corn reached 80s a quarter. New machinery was taking the jobs form many people; this was known as the industrial revolution. Radicals (influenced by the French revolution and American war of independence) influenced the working class to protest. The economic state of the country caused unrest, by the depressions. Governments took a laissez faire approach to the unrest, and all protests ended in riots, such as the spa field riots 1819 and Peterloo massacre. ...read more.

Middle

When reforms did occur it was in the period 1822-28; this was due to the reshuffle in the Tories party thus giving them the title liberal. Trade unions are an example of the reforms made; the amending act 1825 reduced protest as it allowed negotiation of wages and hours, but still prohibited the obstruction of workers. The Corn Laws were reformed in 1927 from 80s a quarter to 73s a quarter; the Corn Laws were on a sliding scale. Protest died down during 1822-28 due to these reforms. ...read more.

Conclusion

Protests weren't as popular as people were happier, not just from the reforms but also the improvement in the economic situation and harvests. These factors could be seen as more important than the reforms introduced. If protest occurred early on in the period (1815) the government were probably to blame. Later in the period (1828) the government were less to blame, other factors such as hunger politics (the working class taking an interest in politics against the genuine struggle for food.) Equally the government and other factors were responsible for popular protest throughout the period 1815-28. However later on it wouldn't be the government as much as the other factors. ...read more.

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